Getting your exercise routine sussed

Routine is key says Lissa Bankston. She’s a Southern California-based instructor who teaches at CUT Fitness, a club that features on the reality television show, ‘The Real Housewives of Orange County’. Lissa is adamant that routine helps her keep focused and productive – read her words on how she does it below.

Lissa Bankston on …

Getting the day started
A typical day starts between 5am and 6am. The first thing I do is read my devotional. I am passionate about my faith so I find this a great way to set my mind and heart on what I love. My advice to others is to start the day by reading something positive or motivating as it helps set your attitude.

Sometimes I just don’t want to get out of bed. On these days I motivate myself by thinking of all the other people who get up early to get their workout in – so even if I am not teaching I get up early and do some exercise. It’s always worth it. I also get motivated by coffee.

My first meal of the day is a one egg, two egg white omelette. I put in whatever veggies I have but my favorite is with spinach and tomatoes. I also cook one turkey sausage and have a cup of black coffee.

Fuel for the body
I try not to categorize my eating as breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks. Instead I eat four or five meals of equal size and portion throughout my day. This means that every two hours I eat a meal that contains protein, veggies, a small amount of fats and a small amount of carbs. At the moment my favorite meal is a lamb burger – just the meat, no bun, but on a bed of quinoa with cherry tomatoes and goat cheese. The texture, the taste, the cheese… it’s just awesome!

I find eating substantial, healthy meals regularly does amazing things for my energy. It’s also really helpful as I suffer from insulin deficiency and low blood sugar problems. If I ever need a snack between meals, almonds are my fav.

Working out on time
I love morning workouts because it makes me feel good for the rest of the day. However, most days I run personal training sessions with clients in the morning so I end up working out at around 3 or 4pm. I used to hate working out at this time of day because I am usually getting tired and hungry. But now I find it really wakes me up and gets me so amped for the evening classes I teach.

Staying motivated
Switch your exercise up! Routine is my lifestyle but I love to be creative with my workouts. I try to find things outside the gym that I love to do. Surfing, snowboarding, running, hiking – I love it all. In Laguna Beach they have this set of stairs they call “Ten Thousand Steps”. It is actually about 250 steps from the beach straight up to the street. Some friends and I run these steps 10 times in a row two or three times a week. I love working out in a different setting and the view of the ocean totally inspires me. I also am addicted to LES MILLS GRIT™, so any time I can sneak a GRIT workout in, I do!

I am usually early to bed. I need sleep to keep me healthy and energized! There are two things I do to finish off my day. The first is to meal plan my day so that I eat dinner before the last class I teach. That way I just drink my protein and I am ready to relax – the last thing I want to do is eat dinner at 9pm. The second is pack my bags for the next day. I don’t want to worry about packing everything I need at 5am. I am not awake yet!

I worked with a doctor on my sleep habits and her advice was routine. The first thing I do is make a night time tea. It just gets my body to calm down. I will allow myself one hour of TV but I usually can’t make it through an entire show. If I am restless for some reason, I will read a bit. Most of the time I have no trouble sleeping because I’ve been so physical throughout the day.

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